I already make my own yogurt but I’ve never tried my hand at making cheese. There was a ricotta tart recipe in my evaluation list this week so I used that as the excuse to make ricotta from scratch today. Everyone who has ever said that once you make it yourself, you will never buy it again is completely right. I will never buy it again. It’s so ridiculously simple.
After searching on Google and asking some friends, I decided to use white vinegar as my acid so that the ricotta wouldn’t take on the taste of buttermilk or lemon. I needed 2.5 cups of cheese which required using 10 cups of whole milk. I read that using organic UHT (ultra high-temperature) milk didn’t work as well as using pasteurized milk so I ran off to Safeway to buy a gallon of the regular stuff.
10 cups whole milk
1 1/4 tsp salt
10 TBs white vinegar
Simply mix the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat until the whey starts to break away from the curds. Once it reaches about 165 degrees, set it aside for ten minutes so the curds could strengthen. Next, pour into cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl. There will be a *lot* of whey which can be used in a variety of ways (soaking steel-cut oatmeal over night, making more ricotta, blending into a smoothie, etc). I let it strain for over an hour because I wanted the ricotta somewhat dry since it was going into the filling of a ricotta tart.
Let me know if you try it or if you have any exciting ways to use up the whey!